Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Decisions That Define Your Church

Decisions determine our destiny. Like it our not, our lives are the sum total of the decisions that we make. Every day we live in the wake of the consequences of our choices.

I want to share some thoughts about decisions that define our church.

Decision #1 - Deciding Who Decides

There are hundreds of decisions that are made in a church every week: financial decisions, strategy decisions, staffing decisions, ministry decisions, facility decisions and the list goes on.

At PCC, we understand that God is the leader and that God has chosen to lead through leaders. That's the Scriptural pattern. As the leader of PCC, I have chosen to lead through two teams of people: the Staff and the Elders.

In my opinion and experience, collaborative-team leadership is more effective than unilateral-dictatorial leadership. It allows you to get the perspective of other leaders and than filter that information before making the decision. Sure, not everyone is going to agree with every decision that is made. But then again, that's why God raises up spiritually mature leaders that make decisions based not on what is popular or easy, but on what is honoring to God and His Word.

If you want to help make decisions in the church - become a leader. If you want to lead - the first requirement is being willing to follow.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

NBDC Graduation

Yesterday New Beginnings Day Care graduated their very first class of students that are moving on to kindergarten. Congratulations graduates! You all are awesome.
I want to thank Dr. Janet Shelton and her staff for providing an excellent education and environment for the children of our community to grow socially, spiritually, intellectually and physically.
These first 5 graduates are off to a great start in life. The Bible says, "Don't despise the day of humble beginnings." This school and our children are full of phenomenal potential and will accomplish great things for God! I look forward to many more graduation ceremonies in the future and watching these kids grow up!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Leadership Principles #3

#3. Your Pain Threshold will determine your Growth Threshold

Yes, growing churches are led by growing leaders. But all growing leaders carry a serious amount of pain. Don't be naive and think that just because a pastor has a large church that their life is a bed of roses. Here's what I mean.

It's painful when ...
+Your church outgrows your ability to know everyone and you feel like a jerk when people meet you in public feel like they know you as their best friend and you barely recognize them.
+You pour your life into people and you watch them blow up their marriage and ministry.
+Critics misrepresent you and your church just because it grows.
+You have to fire a staff member because that's what's best for the church
+People leave your church because it got "too big." You can know everybody or everybody can know Jesus. You can't have both!
+Some of your best friends chunk their moral character and then blame the ministry
+You have to make serious changes in order to help the church grow to the next level and people get mad and hate on you.
+You take some audacious leap of faith to reach people for Jesus and you fall flat on your face. But you'd rather do that than settle for a comfortable ministry and take home a paycheck every couple of weeks.
+You confront people who aren't with the vision and you hold them to a high standard.

Listen, I love what I do. But it's hard. Ministry is tough. And many pastors are not willing to face the pain of change and therefore sacrifice maximizing the full potential of Gods ultimate plan for their ministry. How much pain can you take?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Leadership Principle #2

2. Growing Churches are Led By Growing Leaders

The growth of a church is greatly determined by the growth of the leader. When you are growing, your church is growing. Conversely, when you are not growing, your church will not grow either.

Here's the wrong question, "What can I do to make my church grow?"

Instead, here are some growth questions I ask myself all the time:

-how am I growing in my prayer life? how's my quiet time - am i spending regular time in God's presence and in his Word?

-how am I growing in my marriage? what am I doing to grow my relationship with my kids?

-how am I growing as a leader? what models of ministry am I studying? who's coaching me right now? who am i investing in right now? what books am i planning on reading this month? what conferences will i attend or watch online?

-how am I growing as a communicator of God's word? what am i doing to be a better preacher?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Leadership Principle

I wanted to share leadership principles this week to help sharpen your leadership IQ. Here we go:

1. Do for ONE what you can't do for ALL

Often times leaders are reluctant to do anything when they cannot do it for anyone. This is a recipe for mediocrity in your organization and it will ultimately remove the leader from the very things that they need to be close to.

Here's how I apply this principle:
*I went and visited a church member in the hospital this morning even though I can't visit every member. I did for one what I can't do for all.
*I will perform only 5 marriages this year but that's all. I'll do some, but not all.
*I once gave a staff member a car who was in desperate need of transportation. I can't give all my staff vehicles, but I was in position to give one to one of them.

These are just a few examples of how this principle works. Don't let the naysayers and the masses determine what you do. Do for one what you can't do for all.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Resurrection by Rob Bell

Check out this Rob Bell video on the resurrection. Rob is one of the most creative communicators in the church today. Listen closely to the content of his message - it just might change your life.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Weekend Update

Here are some highlights from this past weekend at PCC:
+I took the weekend off and spent some time with my family while recovering from a bout with laryngitis.
+My friend and former NASCAR driver, Rich Fogel, shared his story of life in the racing community. You can listen to his story here. Thanks Rich! You did an amazing job.
+We had a guest worship leader, Mark Evers, from Reading, PA. I listened to the recording and Mark and the band sounded great.
+The Creative Worship Arts Team did an amazing job with the creative elements. The stage looked awesome. My favorite element was the actual back end of a race car built out of the right stage wall. Wow! Great job guys. You rock. Oh - and I loved the band and singers all in the pit crew jump suits. And the fact that you actually have The King, Richard Petty's, signed door handing from the pipe grid is stinkin' cool too.
+Many people made decisions to receive Christ this weekend! Go God!
+The Saturday night service is still going strong. Thanks everyone for being faithful to attend this service.
+My son, David III, and I went to the race on Sunday. We flew up to the track in a helicopter and had pit passes. What a blast. David still wants to be a motorcycle racer when he grows up though.
+I spent some time with Chase Mattioli, a driver in the ARCA series (a step below the NASCAR Sprint series). What a nice young man and future star in NASCAR. I'll certainly be praying for him as he races next weekend up in Michigan.
+Glad to be back in the office this week after being out sick last week. Still got a lot done from home though.
+Really busy week ahead. Facing another surgery tomorrow though. Please remember me in your prayers.

Friday, June 04, 2010

This Weekend at PCC

This weekend we kick off a brand new teaching series at PCC called "The Race." My good friend and former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver, Rich Fogel, will be sharing his story of life on the track. You don't want to miss this weekend. Rich has an amazing and inspiring story. I can't wait.

The Creative Worship Arts team did an amazing job with the creative elements for this series. The entire church is totally NASCAR'd out - wait until you see the stage decor. Crazy cool.

So, don't miss this weekend and don't come alone. Be sure to bring a friend. You won't regret it.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Book Recommendation

My friend, Dick Hardy, recently released his new book, 27 Tough Questions Pastors Ask. This is a must read for those in the ministry trenches. In his easy-to-read style, Dick lays out road-tested, practical advice for just about every situation ministers face, such as:
+the 7 things church receptionists do to turn people away
+how to define and deal with staff disloyalty
+the 3 foundational elements necessary for a church to grow
+6 reasons to copy another church
+and much more.
If you need some sage advice in ministry, read the book or better yet, call Dick and talk to him one on one. He has a great ministry called The Hardy Group where he helps pastors with everything but preaching. I've talked to Dick on several occasions about real life issues I've had to face and I always come away with a fresh perspective and a positive set of next steps to take. Thanks again Dick for all you do!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

New Staff @ PCC

This past weekend I announced that our current student ministries pastor, Matthew Davis, will be transitioning to our executive team as the Development Director. He will be overseeing all of the discipleship and spiritual growth ministries - ie., Membership, New Believers Class, Assimilation, Pastoral Care, Benevolence and Community Groups.
PCC began a nationwide search for a new youth pastor 6 months ago and we are excited to introduce you to Andre and Mandy Anderson and their 6 month old son, Isaiah. Andre and Mandy are currently living in Chicago and will be moving to Pocono in a couple weeks to join our church family as the new Student Ministries Pastor. They are a a fun-loving couple with a passion to reach this generation for Christ. Please keep the Anderson's in prayer during this time of transition.